Overall Rating

Cardrona

Cardrona3.5/513
Cardrona3.5 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
  • Recommend
    92%
  • Would Revisit
    69%

Cardrona - Reviews

Cardrona - Reviews

The Most Popular NZ Ski Resort

23/11/2019

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    1

The Most Popular NZ Ski Resort

23/11/2019
And it wasn't a powder day
The Cardrona ski resort has undergone a lot of improvements since our last visit 7 years ago, with a good revamp of some of the base buildings and the addition of a couple of fast lifts. This, combined with its strengths (which are outlined on the Cardrona overview page) make it easy to see why it’s become the most popular ski resort in New Zealand, and why lots of Queenstown holiday makers travel a little bit further to Cardrona rather than visiting Coronet Peak or The Remarkables. Despite the additional lift capacity, its popularity has resulted in major problems with lift queues. We visited on a Monday and standing in 15-20 lift lines became tiresome very quickly.

The Pringles lift will enhance the ingress and egress to some good lines but it’s not likely to make a dint in the lift queues. Conversely the upcoming Soho lift should certainly spread the crowds, but it’s also likely that Cardrona will take further market share from Coronet Peak and The Remarkables which will increase the crowds.

It seemed that some improvements had also been made to the Cardrona road with the addition of more drainage and safety barriers, however unlike some other NZ ski field roads, it doesn’t have a lot of rocky/stony surface so it was still muddy and slippery. The resort also needs to do some work on its car park shuttles as we found them to be very inefficient.

Essentially Cardrona is a good all-rounder as far as NZ ski resorts go. You can see our New Zealand Ski Resort ratings to see how it compares.

Worth the drive from QT

Darren C
13/05/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    2

Worth the drive from QT

Darren C
13/05/2015
If you're in Wanaka already- you no doubt know about this lil' beauty. But if you're based in Queenstown- it's definately worth the drive to visit.

Great snow, a lot more freedom and some great terrain to hit make this my favourite resort near Queenstown to visit.

Pretty Lame but about as good as it gets in NZ

Jerry
02/08/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Pretty Lame but about as good as it gets in NZ

Jerry
02/08/2014
Like most New Zealand resorts there's an overall general lack of snow. Be prepared for days where the resort is closed due to: lack of snow, saturated snow packs, high winds, thunderstorms and more.

Pros:
Decent park setup (boxes, rails and kickers galore)
Nice natural features on piste (banks to jump off etc.)

Cons:
Poor Snow/Lack of snow (and poor snow making ability)
Unsealed road (but normal for ski "resorts" in NZ - still pretty shocking that you can pay several hundred dollars for a season pass and be expected to drive up a muddy/rough dirt track to get to the "resort")
Short runs
Small vertical drops
Crowds during NZ/AU school midterm break

It's probably wise to ignore any reviews on Cardrona where it's referred to as 'Cardies' - these are most likely from locals who don't know any better. If you're coming to New Zealand for snow then my advice is go somewhere else!

Cardrona 2012

Mark Denny
25/07/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Admin Rating
    3

Cardrona 2012

Mark Denny
25/07/2013
I skied with the family at Cardrona last season and was very impressed. My wife and daughter (15 old) are beginner/intermediate and I consider myself to be intermediate skier.

The runs are well groomed and open with plenty of intermediate runs. Relatively uncrowded all week with great snow.

The road up is single lane dirt with no barriers. It gets very hairy on the way down one day in a white out. Other than that the Rav 4 handled it well.

I recommend staying at Wanaka (20mins drive) because it is simply beautiful. A quiet picturesque town with some night life. If you are looking to party, then stay at Queenstown. I would certainly return there again.

Superb for Families & Beginners

17/10/2012

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Superb for Families & Beginners

17/10/2012
Cardrona isn’t an ideal ski area for powderhounds considering the inadequate snowfall. Super gnarly terrain is limited, although advanced riders will find plenty of enjoyable off-piste action so long as the snow conditions are amenable.

Cardrona’s main strengths are the terrain for beginners and kids, and the intermediate slopes and the parks and pipes are pretty good too.

The strongest point of Cardrona is its family friendliness. Firstly you can stay in on-mountain accommodation at Cardrona (a rarity for a commercial NZ ski resort) so you don’t have to get the kids in the car every day. The licensed child care facilities are impressive and the ski school programs are very well set up for the wee ones. Bigger kids will be impressed with the terrain parks – these might not be as exciting as Snowpark but the huge advantage that Cardrona has is that it has terrain park features as well as slopes, runs and natural hits.

Many of the cons of Cardrona are the same as most other NZ ski resorts: limited on-mountain accommodation; limited snowfall and inconsistent snow conditions; treeless terrain so visibility can be an issue in foggy weather; and a scary access road.

Lift capacity can also be another shortcoming of Cardrona. When we visited in August 2012 (on a weekday) there were horrendous lift queues at the Whitestar and Captain’s chairs, whilst the Valley View quad wasn’t open.

For more detailed ratings of Cardrona and to see how it compares to other ski resorts around the world, see our powderhounds resort ratings.

Cardie's

Brendan
14/10/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Cardie's

Brendan
14/10/2012
Had a nice relaxed day riding the groomers at Cardrona in beautiful sunny conditions, only problem was that everyone else had the same idea so the lift lines were fairly long, but all of the Cardrona Staff had it sorted and were very polite yet very direct with instructions and at least had the lines moving (a lot of other New Zealand Fields would be better if they followed Cardrona's lead in this area).

The Superpipe had a comp on when we where there which added to the atmosphere (and crowds) and the Terrain Parks were pretty impressive.

Found Cardrona handled the crowds pretty well and was a great place to spend a sunny day riding with a group of friends and afterwards at the bottom of the Ski Field Access Road is the old Cardrona Hotel (Established in 1863) which is the perfect apres-ski destination. Relax out in the large garden next to the fireplace while you enjoy a few beers or local wines whilst sharing stories of the days antics on the hill.

Pros: Close to Wanaka, good Terrain Park/Superpipe, good lifts for the most part, good staff, wide groomers.

Cons: Crowds, Short Runs

Classic Cardie's

Dom
09/10/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Classic Cardie's

Dom
09/10/2012
The crowds seem to like this place but for whatever reason I've never really gotten it here. Short runs, lack of steeps and too many people for my liking.

That being said, still worth a visit on any road trip. Good for families and beginners with a good variety of intermediate and beginner runs. Ski hire, catering and good views across the other side of the valley can't be argued with. There is also a big halfpipe here for those who are so inclined. And with the new lift and access to backcountry this is definitely worth a stopover on the drive over the Crown Range.

Friends who have come along have enjoyed themselves well enough so maybe it is just me. A decent access road and quick access from either ski town. Best for families or learners as lack of steeps, off piste and longer runs will have the more adventurous bored quite quickly.

But armed with a kite or skins and you have a launching pad for the backcountry where there is plenty of snow to be harvested and good times to be had. Good place also to take partners who are learning or skiing for the first time. Not cheap but worth at least one trip in my books and maybe two if you get snow!!!

Cardies is great !

Whitey
03/09/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    2

Cardies is great !

Whitey
03/09/2012
Cardies is a great wide open resort. I am an intermediate boarder and it is perfect for me.

The crowds are low, runs are long and wide with great parks and good off piste too. I love captains basin and the cafe there is awesome. Amazing views, nice people. You have to go.

Best of the resorts in the Queenstown/Wanaka Area

Mike Banks
16/03/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    3

Best of the resorts in the Queenstown/Wanaka Area

Mike Banks
16/03/2012
Even though I am not a fan of skiing in New Zealand in general, Cardrona has a lot of redeeming factors which make for a pleasant cruisy day on the snow.

Pros include: family friendly, on snow accommodation, great beginner and intermediate runs, good terrain park, great views.

The cons of Cardrona are much the same as most other NZ ski resorts and a reason that I am not a great fan of skiing in NZ. Cons include: limited on-mountain accommodation; low snowfall and inconsistent snow conditions; little tree skiing available for bad weather; and a long windy access road from the valley.

Cadrona is perfect for those who enjoy 'easier' runs

Julian
28/07/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    3

Cadrona is perfect for those who enjoy 'easier' runs

Julian
28/07/2011
There are two mountains located within 30 minutes of Wanaka (the local town). They are Cardrona and Treble Cone.

The common knowledge is that Treble Cone is the advance mountain and Cardrona is the easier/family oriented mountain.

I would strongly recommend this mountain to beginners or intermediates as the runs are wide, moguls are groomed out of most of the runs and the runs are not too steep.

The snow was good when we were there, lift passes are incredibly cheap (compared to skiing in Australia), they offer student passes at $72 which was great for us.
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